Let's meat for Christmas
A list of the best places across the city to order in your Christmas meat from
The Cratchit's Christmas dinner in A Christmas Carol, the Christmas feasts in Hogwarts' Great Hall in the Harry Potter series and the detailed descriptions of feasts in almost every Enid Blyton novel — these have all made our mouths water and stomach's rumble, and we've gobbled whatever we could get our hands on from the different dishes when we were younger. Well, those meals are no longer a distant dream for Mumbaikars this festive season, with a plethora of options for artisanal and cured meats.
Jude Cold Storage
50 years of feasting
It opened shop on October 28, 1968, also the feast of St Jude. And so, parents to Bombay boy Roland Saldanha, now 53, christened the store Jude Cold Storage. Today, hundreds flock to the 50-year-old shop, especially during this festive month, for their extravagant Christmas meats — pulled pork and buff, and pates like ham and cheese, smoked chicken, bacon, prawn and chicken and mayonnaise. Their pork roast is an heirloom recipe, which leans towards the Irish roots of Saldanha's wife's great-grandmother.
Roland Saldanha preparing glazed ham. Pics/Shadab Khan
"My parents used to run the Bandra gymkhana, where grandmum would make Goan dishes for weddings. Soon after, my mother started a chicken farm in Vasai. She would also make traditional masalas there, which I picked up," says Saldanha, who started cooking when he was 21."Traditional ways like grinding ingredients using stone to make masalas and clay pots to make curries is something that's lost today, but all these techniques added to the flavour of the dish back in the day," he reminisces.
On the menu Buff and chicken roast, buff steak and onions, cold cut platters, legs of ham, smoked and stuffed duck, tongue (buff) roast, as well as herbed, Cajun and smoked chicken
At Shop no 3, Lourdes Haven, 10A, Pali Mala Road, Bandra west.
Best from the world
At Sweet Stuff, Manjul Sandhu is importing meats from Spain, UK, the US and Holland, and using her own recipes to cater to the Indian palate.
"We have legs of ham, and roulade stuffed with apricot, prunes and herb and cheese from Holland. We get a lot of orders for honey-glazed, honey-mustard and black-pepper ham," she says.
The online delivery service caters to the entire country and is helmed by Sandhu, who has 20 years of experience in the business of importing meats. "We have tried to tweak the meats to suit the Indian palate, which is very different from the European one. We make them a little more peppery and spicy.
On The Menu Salami, turkey, suckling pig, pancetas and loins, rack of lamb Log on to sweetstuff.in
Pork to perfection
Kaviraj Thadani started cooking when he was eight. He inherited his love for curing meats from his father, who used to make chicken in dill sauce, steak and pork chops, while Thadani was growing up in Mumbai.
"His recipes were continental and I have built on them," says the founder of Kaavo Meats, which delivers across the city.
Kaviraj prepares the glazed leg of ham. Pics/Atul Kamble
"Today, we are aware of the affects of curing on meat, the impact that salts and water have on the meat," he adds. He does a mean smoked pork shoulder, where he makes sure there's a good mix of pork and fat. He explains, "Though people are averse to fat, it actually adds a lot of moisture and flavour."
On the menu Glazed leg of ham, BBQ roast pork shoulder, stuffed duck/turkey/chicken
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It's time for Mavourneen Peters, who has been working on the Christmas menu at Mavs Bakes and Cakes for around two months now, to reap the benefits of her hard work, as the orders start pouring in.
Bacon pecan cheese log
he city girl has kept some of the recipes traditional, mirroring her mum's, like the Irish smoked leg of ham, though she has added a rosemary citrus option for those who prefer savoury meats.
On the menu Bacon explosion, bacon pecan cheese log, garlic herb and butter roast turkey
At Shop no 2, Waroda Road, Bandra West.
A familial feast
As a 10-year-old, Christina Fernandes was her mother's favourite Christmas elf in the kitchen as they prepared for the family's annual barbecue. Twenty nine years later, she now prepares those meats at home for sale during the festival.
Christina holds her rum and pineapple-glazed ham. Pic/Bipin Kokate
"The turkey and pork chops are mum's recipes. We used to cook ham glazed with rum and pineapple dressing traditionally. Today, I make honey bourbon-glazed ham, adding spices like ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, to give it a sweet, tangy and spicy taste," says Fernandes, who has a lot of overseas orders pouring in. And it's almost like deja vu for the home chef, whose 11-year-old daughter, helps her out and is getting a grasp of the family recipes. After all, Christmas is about family.
On the menu Roast turkey, chicken, leg of ham, suckling pig
Boro din in Bombay
Pia Promina Dasgupta has fond memories of boro din or Christmas day in Kolkata. It was a festival everyone celebrated, she reminisces, adding, "My mother would make smoked leg of ham and pork roast similar to what was served at the Bengal Club," she says.
Pia's ham marinated in beer sauce
Today, her pork roast, made using oodles of beer for the sauce, is quite famous among Mumbaikars. But it was her grandmother who sparked her interest in cooking.
Pia Promina Dasgupta
"I was three years old and my grandmom wanted to keep me out of her hair. So, she gave me a small cutter to cut vegetables," says the home-chef, who moved to Mumbai in 1976. Today, at 66, she's quite particular about her chicken roast, and has also introduced a steak and kidney pudding, her mother's recipe.
On the menu English pork pie, smoked salmon, tenderloin steaks/roasts, suckling pigs, smoked ham, leg of mutton, turkey
By chef Glyston Gracious, city chef, Impresario Handmade Restaurants
How to serve meats
1 Don't boil or braise the ham. Slow-roast it at 100 degrees C.
2 Don't serve ham with a curry-based sauce or heavy Indian spices. Opt for a sweet and savoury glaze and root vegetables.
3 Don't roast it when frozen.
4 Cut the ham against the grain. Thin slices are preferred over cubes.
5 Serve these meats with vegetables and sauces low in salt.
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